What Celebrating Your 18th Birthday in Quarantine Feels Like

By Stefan Simic, Staff Writer

A few days ago, I celebrated my 18th birthday. As we all know, we are amid a global pandemic, which ultimately forced me to cancel all my plans and activities for the day. So as my birthday grew nearer and nearer, my expectations for my big day dropped.

On the day of my birthday, I woke up and planned how my day would go. The first thing I knew that was going to happen was that my parents were going to give me their presents. I then planned on playing video games until my cousin and grandparents came. Once they arrived we would eat, sing happy birthday, have cake, open presents, etc. After that, they would all leave, and my birthday would come to an end.

To me, this plan sounded great at the time; however, this is not at all how my day went.

On my birthday, I still got my presents from my family and got to see my grandparents and my cousin, but my sister also planned a huge surprise. With the help of one of my friends, my sister got a majority of my friends to meet up in front of my house and sing me happy birthday. At the time the surprise happened, I was playing video games, so I was completely oblivious to the fact that all my friends were outside my house to wish me a happy birthday. So the moment I stepped outside and saw all my friends, I was overwhelmed with happiness.

After the surprise, my cousin came over early, so we went on a drive. We hopped on the highway towards the city and got to see how empty it was due to the pandemic. After cruising down along Michigan Ave, we made our way to Lake Shore Drive so that we could head home.

Once I got home, we sang happy birthday, had cake, opened presents, then we all called it a day.

At the end of the day, as I laid in bed, I thought about how my birthday went. I was actually happy with the way it turned out because I got to see all my family and friends. Alas, if we weren’t in a nationwide lockdown, everything would have been different, but I’m happy with what I got. Plus, not many people get to say they celebrated their big 18 during a global pandemic.